Stress and the Scale: What you need to know

Stress and the Scale: What you need to know



It’s been a while since we have discussed achieving a healthy weight. Usually this is a January topic as New Year’s resolutions are created. But let’s be honest, most people gave up this pursuit months ago. Unfortunately, our body doesn’t care what month it is, it only wants to be healthy.

Most of the time when we discuss body weight the focus becomes on nutrition and exercise. Whereas these areas are always the first place to begin, what we are going to discuss this month is the roll that stress can play when it comes to weight.

It has been shown that up to 75% of Americans experience at least a moderate amount of stress on a daily basis. Whether it is on the job issues, traffic during your commute, or an issue with a loved one, too much stress will put the body into a ‘fight or flight’ mode.

When our body is under prolonged or abnormally high stress, cortisol is produced as a normal response. This hormone will decrease the body’s normal metabolism causing weight gain. This can be a reason why nutritional changes alone are not enough to normalize one’s weight.

In addition to the obvious issues relating to weight, other serious chronic health issues can also result from prolonged high stress. Conditions such as heart disease, sleep deprivation, and diabetes are just a few of the many negative effects on one’s health as a result from high stress.

To just say “get over it” would be quite unfair in this situation. I have never met anyone that said they enjoy the stressful life they are living. But we need to address some strategies to decrease stress.

Whereas seeing a counselor can be a bit intimidating, working with a professional trained to listen can be a great step to letting go of stress. A direct referral from a friend is a good start down this path.

Of course, exercise has been shown to be extremely valuable to decreasing overall stress. If done properly a positive side-effect is a stronger body. Thus, a triple win: decreased stress; decrease weight; and increased fitness!

An area I see a lot of success in stress reduction is with chiropractic care. Let’s be honest, hurt people hurt people. By helping a patient’s body function better, stress levels within decrease. This is in addition to a decrease or elimination many other issues that benefit from chiropractic.

Summer is just around the corner. Don’t wait to get ready! Make a plan today to decrease your stress and normalize your weight.



Dr. Dan Miller has been serving the Beaverton area since 1992. He has long held the belief that good health begins before birth. As a certified member of the ICPA, he has worked with thousands of parents and children over the years. For more information, visit his website at: